Misleading Minerals: Arctic, African & Aussie

Ruby JewelryWhen it comes to naming a rock or mineral that either originated from or is native to a specific location in the world, it is only natural to include these destinations as part of their title. This can be found in the African emerald or the Arctic opal. What is really interesting is how some of these rocks and minerals aren’t really what they are called. For example, it is not uncommon to encounter a ruby that really isn’t a ruby, but a certain type of garnet instead.


These sorts of rocks and minerals are represented by a wide-range of misleading names, including the Australian ruby. With this particular stone, it is actually a pyrope garnet, which is the garnet associated with being the birthstone of birthday celebrators in January. This red garnet displays a hardness of 6-8. Other misleading “rubies” include the: American Ruby, Arizona Ruby, Australian Ruby, Elie Ruby, Cape Ruby, Colorado Ruby, Montana Ruby, Bohemian Ruby, California Ruby, and the Rocky Mountain Ruby.


This type of misleading moniker can be also found in the African emerald, which isn’t really an emerald, but green fluorspar that comes from the mines in South Africa. Fluorspar is actually the more commonly named fluorite. This mineral is offered in a wide-range of colors, including red, pink, green, yellow, blue, black, yellow, as well as multi-colored finds. It can also have no color at all. The crystals can appear transparent, as well as translucent, possessing a hardness of 4.


If you were wondering, yes, the term ”˜fluorescent’ is associated with these types of stones. The colors that are displayed in this form include red, blue, green, as well as yellow. Throughout the world fluorite can be found. Specific varieties include Blue John with its purple color, decorated with bands of yellow and white; and chlorophane, which actually emits a bright green light in certain heat conditions. This characteristic is called thermoluminescent.


When it comes to the African jade, which is also referred to as the Transvaal jade, you will find that this too is a fraud in terms of naming. This jade they refer to is actually a green grossular garnet that is native to the mines of South Africa. A grossular garnet is a type of garnet that possesses calcium, aluminum and silicate. There are many different varieties that branch off from this main mineral, include hessionite, which is often used in the creation of jewelry. This mineral can be found in orange, yellow, and transparent shades of brown. Some grossular garnets are also gray or pink. Although the African jade shares the same name and appearance as jade, it is still a garnet. The different colors that the African jade can be found in, includes light, green, pink or white.


As for the Arctic opal, it too is presented under false pretenses. This type of stone is actually a mixture of malachite and azuritea, which is far from an opal. This stone can be located in the mines of Wrangle Mountains, as well s the Chugach Mountains of Alaska, which is located near the city of Anchorage.